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Creating correctly formatted artwork files for print in Adobe Photoshop 8  

by Jake Gourd

Designing an unique identity for your small business can be a taxing task when your budget doesn't stretch to hiring a professional to help you do the job. Digital art files need to be created to a correct size, resolution and color mode. Providing poor artwork files to printers will result in a unprofessional looking final product which will fail to make a positive impression on your customers.

This tutorial goes over the basics of creating digital artwork files for business cards and marketing postcards. The following tutorial can also be used to create business stationery including letterheads, compliments slips and label artwork files by adjusting the sizes.

The dimensions mentioned are for landscape items and should be transposed for portrait cards. Creating Files in Photoshop

Select File > New. Give your file a name, and enter the size.

For business cards set the size to 95mm x 57mm and for A6 post card to 151.5mm x 108mm. These dimensions include the bleed of 3mm (8.5pt) for and business cards and 1.5mm (4.2pt) for post cards.

Set the resolution to 300 pixels/inch, set the mode to CMYK and the contents to White. Click OK.

Ensure you have the page rulers showing, View > Show Rulers. Ensure your rulers are set to cm, Edit > Preferences > Units and Rulers. Now click and drag the guides from the ruler bars.

For business cards set the guides to 3mm, 6mm, 51mm and 54mm vertically and 3mm, 6mm, 89mm and 92mm horizontally. For post cards set the guides to 1.5mm, 4.5mm, 103.5mm and 106.5mm vertically and 1.5mm, 4.5mm, 147mm and 150mm horizontally. You are now ready to create your design within this template.

Please note, nothing should extend to the outside edge of the document other than items that bleed off the edge of your cards.

The first guide line 3mm (business cards), (1.5mm postcards) is where the cards will be cut and you should try to keep all your text and images within the inner line 6mm (business cards), (4.5mm postcards) to avoid the possibility of anything being 'clipped'.

Avoid scaling up images, if an imported image is too small scaling up will reduce the resolution and therefore the quality.

When you are happy with your design, save the file as an Adobe Photoshop (.psd) file, this is your back up in case you need to make alterations at any time in the future. This file cannot be uploaded. Save the artwork

Flatten any layers you may have (Layer > Flatten Image).

Select File > Save As and Choose Photoshop EPS(.eps) Set the preview to None, Encoding to Binary and uncheck all the boxes. Your file is now ready to be supplied for printing.

About the Author

Written for Goodprint Ltd, providors of instant online business cards and matching stationery via their website http://www.goodprint.co.uk.

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